Written by Geoff Johns
Penciled by Ivan Reis
Inks by Oclair Albert with Joe Prado
Colors by Alex Sinclair
Variant cover by Ethan Van Sciver (pictured)
Published by DC Comics
Okay…deep breaths. Deep breaths. The zombies are here. Lots of zombies. Zombies that are heroes. The real villains haven’t arrived yet.
Heavy Spoilers ahead. Be Warned. Some are just leftovers from issues
but they are spoilers all the same.
The Justice League are zombies. Wait. No. That doesn’t make sense. The Justice League members that are dead are now a League of the Undead and they have come for blood. Your heart. We are at issue three which is the point just before the tide turns. The point of revelations. This is where we slam the door shut, and while they’re banging on the door, take that minute that we have, perhaps the only one, and figure things out. We need some answers and does Geoff Johns give us some.
One of the biggest aspects of this issue is the character Firestorm. I don’t know much about him but, much like Marvel’s Captain Marvel, he’s a being consisting of two people. But they don’t switch bodies living inside each other consciousness; they combine. We open with Gen and Jason. Jason is in college and Gen is still a senior in High School. They need to have a serious conversation one doesn’t want to have but he can hear her thoughts screaming out to him when they combine. These two love each other. One wants to get married. The other just wants to get through Chem class. This being a zombie comic…take a guess what’s going to happen. The JLA beeper goes off and studying is not going to be an option tonight. Neither is their talk. Too bad.
For a good many pages after we get the fight between Green Lantern and Flash versus the Undead League. They’re just trying to keep it together while the zombies beat them down physically and mentally. Then Ray Palmer, The Atom, appears and he looks like he got the living tar beat out of him. We find out he went through the phone lines last issue, because he can do that, and though he thought he was just going to talk to Hawkman on the other end…what he got was something more sinister.
We find out the workings behind the black rings, and I think how the rings work in general, because that’s where Ray had been hiding. In Hawkman’s black ring. We also find out just what these zombies are. Are they the heroes we know and love or are they just vessels for a vile consciousness. Or something else…
Cut to Justice League headquarters. Firestorm is looking at a computer bank of monitors that are showing footage of the carnage worldwide. It’s not pretty. Then Mera, A attacks. She’s been through hell last issue and she doesn’t know who is who anymore.
The battle rages on and just as Ray Palmer is about to die by his best friend’s hand the Indigo Tribe (the purple lanterns) comes in and what they do…well…through compassion they combine with other light and it is through that combination that they defeat the Black Lanterns. And so the story is told of the beginning of time and the light spectrum in a beautiful double page vertical spread.
Only the white light can beat the black.
From here the characters build a plan. Or try to. One of the best things Geoff writes is his interaction and dialogue between Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, and Barry Allen, the Flash. It’s just a natural free-flowing dialogue between two friends, who in this situation, pull no punches and make no apologies for doing so. Neither is right or wrong. But they have to take a step back and just when they get that moment of respite…the zombies attack!
Of course this being a tale of zombie and horror somebody has to die and like any good tale it has to pull at your heart strings. Zombie Firestorm somehow splits Jason and Gen and somehow Jason combines with zombie Firestorm. For five grueling page we see Gen turn to salt (something to do with Firestorm’s powers) and kill her. All while Jason is inside, watching, listening, crying out his voice falling on deaf ears until she dies. Her heart is ripped out and, in a way, so is his.
And the Evil Dead shall rise.
I may not know the history of every single one of these characters but, as I’ve said in past reviews of Geoff’s work, I don’t need to know it. You just go with what’s given to you in most cases with this event and it’s enough. If you want to know more you can seek out the other titles. I’ve done that. But in terms of an event this has to be the best I’ve read and it’s all self contained package. Blackest Night delivers on all levels. I’ve heard people gripe about the pace it moves, or that they want to know more about other events happening but for me the more intimate storyline hits home. It has meaning. No other comic out there, that I’ve read, at this point is packing this much in for the money.
This is a series you don’t want to wait on. Geoff is fixing comics one issue at a time and we’re all better off for it.
What will be interesting is how he’ll handle the series all the while writing some episodes of Smallville with some of the same major characters.